The Gradient

Newsletter by, for, and about Chicago Whitewater Association

December 2014 - Special Edition

Holiday Party!

The CWA Holiday Party is this Saturday, December 13th, at 6:30 at Humberto and Dianne's in Lombard.

Sounds like they have ambitious and excellent plans for food. I'm sure we'll all have space to eat or drink whatever you (yes YOU!) choose to bring with you, as well.

Check the Meet-up or the e-mail for the address.

CWA Themed Calendars!

Tom is putting together a calendar of awesome CWA pictures!

Tom generally has a sample ready for the Christmas party, it generally runs for somewhere in the range of $15-$20. That is literally all the information I have on this - I will update this box with info if I get more.

A Note From the Editor

Hey Paddlers!

So Bob said, "Hey could you get the meeting minutes from November and put out a Gradient, mostly as a reminder about the Holiday Party? I'll write up a pres report for you if you can do it by Wednesday."

So Secretary Sarah, excellent as always, got me the meeting minutes, and I put together what I have, meager though it may be, and yet, no word from our Presidente. Doubtless he's just busy.

You should all hassle him about it when you come on Saturday! Also wish him a happy birthday, while you're at it.

As a side note - I can change the background of the newsletter, so send me pictures that might look good! The trick is it has to have stuff a long the sides. Tell me the location and I'll give you credit!

I hope to see you all there!


Madame L’editeur, Cat

North Aurora Dam

North Aurora discussed taking out their dam on the Fox River at a recent Village Council Meeting. Their local news ran a nice little story about it. They will bring it up for discussion at future Village Council meetings, perhaps as soon as Monday, December 15th. Anyone interested in more details should contact Bob.

November Meeting Minutes

Chicago Whitewater Association
November 5, 2014
Meeting Minutes

7:40 pm meeting called to order

Minutes: Were not posted in the Gradient. Review and approval will take place at next meeting

Treasurers Report:
19,470.31 Savings
1,732.60 Checking
214.81 Paypal
21,417.72 Total


113 Primary Memberships
58 Secondary (Family members)
94 Total Current Memberships – No clubs
282 Expired
29 Clubs
87 E-gradients
26 Snail Mail (to print, now includes 2 months back)
6 Snail Mail Actual
0 Both E and Snail
18, 11 Club Snail, E-gradients

Old Business:
- River Closure – J-Car draft: Erik requested photos of river closure signs or other evidence of closure.
Will also post the request to the various area paddling club boards

- St. Charles – Will be interviewing engineering firms soon; have raised enough money to pay the fees.
Want to build a world class play spot.

-ACA certification for club instructors: Larry is retired, the club will need to find a different IT.

New Business:
- Whitewater Festival: Gate plan will be submitted to Yorkville before Thanksgiving

- Food Bank Volunteering: Date set for 1/24/15. If interested, let Hannah know 2 weeks prior

- Wolf section 4: $260.00 to renew the set of 10 season passes. Joe motioned to approve the payment, Andy seconded. Passed.

- PAC dues to ACA: Hannah will pay

- Holiday party 12/13 at Humberto’s in Lombard

- No December meeting – Next meeting in January

- New Year’s Paddle with the Crazies – JR will organize

- Indoor Skydiving: Jeff will organize

- Montgomery Dam: Jeff reports Montgomery wants to remove dam and put in a whitewater feature.
Jeff asked members to reach out to Montgomery Mayor in support of this plan.

Joe moved to adjourn, Tom seconded

Meeting adjourned 8:10 pm

Pool Sessions and Classes

Naperville North High School Pool Sessions

Place: 899 N. Mill Street, Naperville, IL

Open pool sessions will be held on Sunday afternoons, starting Nov 30 , from 3:00 to 5:00 pm.

The doors open at 2:45 pm so you can arrive a bit early to get your boat into the building. All boats have to be out of the water at 5:00 pm as water polo begins then. But we have time after that to shower, change and remove the boats from the building.

This is a great facility with a HUGE remodeled 12-lane pool. It includes a 12 foot deep area suitable for sea kayak rescue practice. There is also a large 3.5 foot deep area suitable for assisted roll practice.

You can bring your own CLEAN kayak/canoe or rent a school owned whitewater boat for $5. There is a garden hose near the diving boards. Please use it to ensure your boat is clean. The pool use fee is $10.

Rental equipment is available through the high school for $5 which includes boat/skirt/paddle. The school does have a few larger boats (RPM Max) for bigger paddlers as well as a variety of smaller sizes. Their spray skirts, however, are only nylon skirts and not optimal for rolling practice.

Vernon Hills High School

Place: Vernon Hills High School
145 Lakeview Pkwy
Vernon Hills, IL 60031

Parking: Park on WEST side of building and come in main entrance

Dates: Saturdays 6 to 8pm

December - 6 and 13
January - 10, 24 and 31
February - 7, 21 and 28
March - 7 and 21
April - 11 and 18

Don't be thrown off by if there is a low RSVP count on meetup, there are many regulars who attend and never bother to RSVP in advance. It's open to all kinds of paddlers, so many people outside of CWA attend as well. There's usually at least a dozen people in attendance.

Cost:$10.00 per person per 2hr open pool session

Kayak Rentals:$5.00 per 2hr open pool session (rentals are whitewater kayaks, paddles, spray skirts). We DO NOT offer instruction at these open kayak pool sessions.

Personal Kayaks/Canoes:Please clean and vacuum your boats prior to coming to keep this wonderful opportunity available to us!

Pool Entrance:West doors of school building (main entrance) and the pool is right inside! Very short, easy carry!

Pool:8 lane, 25 meters

Dundee Park District's Open Pool Session

The pool address is:

665 Barrington Ave. (Rt. 68)
Carpentersville, IL

January 10th,
January 24th,
February 14th,
February 28th,
March 28th

Open Pool sessions are scheduled at the Dundee Park District's Rakow Center. The pool is an 8 lane by 25 meter pool. Depth from 3.5-5 feet.

Please make sure your kayak or canoe is clean and vacuumed. We want this to be a positive experience for the Park District to enable future opportunities for the paddling community.

The pool address is:

665 Barrington Ave. (Rt. 68)
Carpentersville, IL

The pool is located on Route 68, west of Route 25, 3 miles north of I-90. Easy, straight carry to the pool deck through the entrance marked "POOL" over the doorway.

Sessions are scheduled from 5:30-7:30 p.m.. We can unload boats any time after 5:00.

Cost for the two hour open pool session is $10 per person. As this will be an ACA registered activity, no additional charge for ACA members. Non-ACA members will need to purchase an ACA event membership for $5. Annual and 6 month ACA memberships will also be available if you're planning on participating in future ACA events. ACA members, please bring your number.

Midwest Paddlesport Adventures have committed to bringing boats to each pool session at the Park District. $10 per session for boat, skirt and paddle rental.

Any proceeds beyond the cost of the actual pool time will be donated to the Chicago Chapter of Team River Runner (TRR). TRR is looking to establish winter and spring pool sessions for the vets and these proceeds can help make that happen.

Concord High School in Elkhart, IN

For our friends out near South Bend, or those willing to make the trek:

The Concord High School pool has been rented Sunday afternoons on the following dates ...

December 14, January 4, and 18, February 1 and 15, March 8 and 22 and a tentative April 12 if there is interest.

The first session on December 14th will be FREE ! Fluid Fun Canoes in Bristol will be bringing demo boats for anyone who would like to try some of them out. If you have a specific request for them to bring a boat, please visit them they can bring something for you to test drive.

All other sessions will cost will be $10 per family the first time you attend and the cost may be reduced on future visits if we get enough participation to cover expenses.

The time will be 3:45 till 5:45 and we must exit the pool 15 minutes before the closing time to give everyone time to clear the area and get out of there by 5:45.

Kayaks must be meticulously cleaned INSIDE and OUT at home BEFORE leaving your home for the pool, no sand, leaves, dead mice etc !

I suggest doing this while the weather is still a little friendly and not wait to do it in mid January when it is 20 degrees outside. Please remove flotation bags, vacuum out the inside, beat on the boat, vacuum again, beat on the boat, vacuum again ( repeat as necessary till all loose material is gone). Then rinse out with a hose or empty a five gallon bucket of water into the boat and slosh it around. Drain and repeat till all grit and grime has been removed. Please check inside all storage compartments and clean them out also.Upon arrival, all kayaks should again be hosed off to remove any road grime that may have accumulated on the trip to the pool. There will be three hoses available, one near the pool office and one on each side of the pool about in the middle.

We will enter the west doors (door #20) at the southwest corner of the building which go directly into the pool.

Please feel free to invite other people who may be interested and will follow the guidelines. I have 2 sets of boats/gear and will be willing to bring them if you know someone who would like to try kayaking but does not have a boat ( yet).

The address for the school is 59117 Minuteman Way, Elkhart IN.

Please sign in and make your financial donation at the clipboard located on a bench along the west wall in the shallow end.

After the pool session, several us usually visit a local Italian or Tex/Mex restaurant. All are welcome.

Harper College Pool Class

There is an error in the Catalog. Class begins at 8:15, not 8:45.

8 week class
Monday nights, 8:15pm-10:00pm.

1200 West Algonquin, Palatine, IL

WHITEWATER KAYAKING - 50880 - LPS 0025 - 001

In a safe, controlled environment you will learn the basics skills needed to begin whitewater kayaking. You will be taught proper paddling and stroke techniques in addition to developing individual rolls and braces. In each class you will spend a half-hour in the classroom and over an hour in the Harper pool practicing. Bring a swimsuit, towel and nose plugs. Equipment and kayaks for the class are supplied by the Chicago Whitewater Association. You must be able to swim to participate in this class.

Register for the class through Harper College directly:
Price: $159

Once you've completed this class you will have all the basic skills necessary to take one of CWA's beginner trips in the spring!


Paddle with the Crazies!

Are you dying to claim the title “First on the River in 2015?”

Join a group of your fellow (crazy) paddlers in a polar bear paddle on January 1st.

Meet for breakfast at 9:30 at the Egg Yolk Café (formerly the Sandpiper) on Rt. 59 in West Chicago. From there we will decide where to paddle based on where there is open water.

Please RSVP so we know how many for breakfast.

Please note this is NOT a “Beginner Trip” although we try to accommodate people of all skill levels.

If you are not up for joining us on the river you are more than welcome to join us for breakfast or back at Rich and Julie’s after paddling.

Indoor Skydiving

Sunday, January 18, 2015 - Meet at 5:00pm, dive at 6:00pm.

iFLY Naperville Indoor Skydiving

1752 Freedom Dr, Naperville, IL

In case you were getting your adrenaline kicks here in the off season . . .

Join fellow CWA members for Indoor Skydiving!

The price will be $55.55 per person and will include the equipment rental and instructor. Attendees need to be there about an hour ahead of time fro instruction and flight suit fitting.

Food Bank Volunteering

Pencil in January 24th, 2015 on your calendars!

We have for several years gotten a group together to volunteer at the Northern Illinois Food Bank. It's community service and a lot of fun! It generally involves an assembly line of people putting donated into bags or boxes, with lip-syncing, dancing, and high-jinks as a mild side effect.

Feel free to bring friends or family members. We'd probably be welcoming even if you kidnap random people and impress them into service.

Generally a group of us go out for lunch afterward for more fun times among paddlers.

If interested, let Hannah know via Meet-up at least two weeks in advance - she has to let the food bank know about how many of us to expect in order for them to pick out a manageable workload.

Costa Rica Trip Opportunity

This is Roger Starring, over in Michigan. I posted a Costa Rica trip some months back. The trip was full. But we've had a few recent cancellations - so now we have room for a few more people.

It's January 17-24; $1,650 + airfare to San Jose (all inclusive). Folks can contact me directly at this address, or text/call me at (231) 893-6905 if they have an interest. Here's a webpage that provides some info: (ours is the GrandRapidsWhitewater trip).

National Paddling Film Festival

Feb 20-21

Frankford, KY

For 33 years the National Paddling Film Festival has been hosting a competition to determine the best in paddle sport videos and images. This competition has provided the paddling community with a fun and profitable event to support American Whitewater and river conservation. In that time, the NPFF has also helped to raise the quality of paddle sport entertainment by providing recognition of talent along with important and useful feedback for the artists who make the show a possibility.

Used Gear Classifieds

Have Gear taking up space in your garage? Find it a new home - send the details to

We've had several people have good success here, so feel free to send it in!

Classes and Pool Sessions

CWA Library

Check out a video from the CWA Library and hone your skills, check out awesome paddling, or live vicariously through movies while the temperature hopefully begins to rise.

For a full list visit:

Chicago Whitewater Association


Bob M

Vice President

Andy Cocallas


Hannah Matzke



Patrick Rivers



Tom Costello



Dave McGovern


Erik Sprenne



Cat Bergan

Membership Information

The Gradient is the newsletter of the Chicago Whitewater Association. Membership in CWA includes this newsletter; notice of super trips, events and parties throughout the year; access to indoor swimming pools during the winter; beginner river trips in the Spring; a source of used equipment; and the chance to meet some of the best paddlers in the Midwest.

Membership Application

When applying for membership sign the waiver or your application will be returned!

CWA MEETINGS: the first Wednesday of each month. Check The Gradient for time and location. All interested members are encouraged to attend.

GRADIENT POLICIES; All articles, letters, and gossip received by your editor are likely to be published and sometimes copied, unless you specify otherwise when submitted. News of trips, postcards from far-away places and comments on common interests are always welcome. You – our members – are the ones who supply the words that appear in these pages. Ads are free to members; businesses and all other pay 20 cents per word. Send check payable to CWA with ad copy. Deadline for all copy is the second Wednesday of each month for that month’s issue. Request information at